Dr. Essam Heggy is the Director of the Earth Sciences Program at the Qatar Environmental and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), Research Scientist at the Microwave Systems, Sensors and Imaging Lab (MiXIL) at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California, and an Affiliate of the Radar Science & Engineering Section (3340) at the NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Heggy obtained both MSc. and PhD. with distinguished honors from the Sorbonne University in France. His research focuses on understanding the response of fossil aquifers in hyper-arid environments to climatic and anthropogenic stresses as well as on understanding volatile evolution on several planetary surfaces. His work involves probing structural, hydrological and volcanic elements in terrestrial and other planetary environments using different types of radar imaging and sounding techniques as well as measuring the electromagnetic properties of rocks, meteorites and ices in the radar frequency range. Heggy’s research expertise spans from laboratory electromagnetic characterization of terrestrial samples and planetary analog materials, radar sounding of aquifers in hyper-arid environments, SAR and InSAR image analyses, GPR surveys in desertic, volcanic and ice-rich environments, FDTD numerical simulations of radar wave propagation, and data processing and interpretation for different terrestrial and planetary radar missions. He is currently a member of the science teams of the MARSIS instrument aboard the Mars Express orbiter (2003-present), the Mini-SAR experiment aboard Chandrayaan-1, the Mini-RF experiment on board the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (2008-present), the CONSERT radar experiment aboard the Rosetta mission (2004-present) and the WISDOM Ground Penetrating Radar onboard the ESA EXOMARS Mars Rover in 2022. Heggy is the Principal Investigator of a sounding radar mission concept currently under formulation, that aims to determine the thickness of the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica and the occurrence and spatial distribution of shallow aquifers in the most arid desertic regions on Earth and how both systems respond to climatic and anthropogenic stresses. Heggy has taught several academic classes on electromagnetic geophysical methods and mentored postdoctoral researchers and graduate students in UCLA, USC, Caltech, Cambridge University, Paris VI & Paris VII universities, Institut de Physique du Globe, Ecole Normale Superieure, University of Houston, Trento University, University of Torino, Cornell University and Columbia University. Heggy authored and co-authored more than 70 peer review scientific papers in the top tier journals in Earth and Planetary Sciences including Science and Nature and more than 200 proceedings and abstracts in international conferences with peer review committees.
Dr. Verónica Bermúdez is a Senior Research Director at Qatar Environment Research Institute (QEERI) where she is the Director of the Energy Center and leads the efforts in research, technology development and innovation in Energy. Prior to joining the organization in 2018, she was Acting General Manager of the Technology Division of the Atsugi Research Center at Solar Frontier KK in Japan. She has also held a position of Principal Scientist at EDF R&D, Senior Scientist at NEXCIS (start-up) and Head of the Optoelectronic Characterization Laboratory at IRDEP (EDF) in France, between others. She is in the Advisory Board of a number of entities. Verónica has a PhD in Physics from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), and holds a number of international awards for her research activity. She is an Associate Editor in Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy and acts as independent expert for a number of international funding agencies as the European Commission, and European National funding bodies. She is also the author or co-author of more than 120 scientific papers in renown journals, including Nature, Nature Energy and Science, has deliver a large number of invited and keynote talks in several international conferences, as well as has a relevant patent portfolio. She has extensive experience in laboratory to industry research and technology transfer in the field of Renewable Energy, in almost the whole value chain, from materials development to grid integration for generation, storage and energy management solutions. She is IEEE Senior Fellow and is actively engaged in promoting science among the youth, with a focus on STEM for women. Her research interests are sustainable energy solutions and carbon management as an asset for sustainability and carbon Net-Zero industrial solutions.
Dr. Marc VERMEERSCH is the Executive Director of the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI). He is leading scientific and technology research, development and innovation at QEERI, to tackle Qatar’s Energy and Wa